Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger and Jackals with Cameras

So Heath Ledger died today, right around 3:30 apparently. I'm watching a cable news network (doesn't matter which all are carrying on in the same fashion) and I'm thinking that many facets of tele-journalism purely subsist on the vile conflation of a bloody, grisly train wreck and the presentation of infotainment.

I can't decide what's worse, the breathless and excited conjecture (with grinning "insiders") regarding the circumstances of his death or the morbid assurance from the anchor that the body will be brought out soon, replete with a camera shots of a coroner van and some fellows yanking an empty gurney from it's back doors. I can imagine the camerafolk yipping and snarling at each other as they fight for a clear spot to capture the actors last and most pitiful performance as his corpse is rolled, wrapped and bagged, out of the apartment and into the van.

4 comments:

subadei said...

I haven't read Saul's apparent masterpiece. The analogy of American celebrities to Greek heroes is simply brilliant though the darker "real power brokers" bit seems a stretch. Not that I disagree with Saul's "real power" element, rather I see the American populace as being both the propagator and victim of their own disillusion.

M├╝nzenberg said...

I think Saul thinks the same thing, he goes on about the population becoming more civically active.

I think Saul wasn't talking power in a conspiratorial bent though (perhaps it came off that way in my writing), more in the vein of power as political decision making, and that celebrities only have the illusion of power and the fame of the real decision makers. So the populace are won over by this, because gossip, good looks, and drama make for an exciting life over the perceived dreariness of policy and political economy.

An example Saul used was financial, and other aid, to failing states. He quotes a British study of the British populace where people were asked who do they think have the power to change conditions in the third world, the majority answered different celebrity names.

Of course, the real decisions to help such failed nations (the logistical, financial etc etc. backing), and hence the real power base, comes from governments and NGOs like the red cross.

But I digress from the topic at hand ...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Vultures they definitely are. But somebody pays them and somebody laps up their produce...

subadei said...

Too true, Snoop. I wonder: Is the human attraction to the suffering of others a genetic trait or simply a cultural trait?